I’ll never forget sitting at a breakfast table with founder and then- Chairman of lululemon, Chip Wilson. Along with about 20 others, I listened to him talk about lululemon’s insane growth and success. Not once did he say anything about the amount of yoga pants he had sold. He didn’t talk in achievements or success as we typically hear it (or measure ourselves). He measured his success with one succinct benchmark: “how can I send more people to The Landmark Forum? The more money this company makes the more employees I can send to be a part of this transformational personal-development experience.”
That always stuck with me. Almost 4 years later I still think about that often. Because the heart and energy behind the company finally made sense to me. I understood their success with leadership and outlook like that.
I often get caught up in what I’m doing and what I’m building and creating: I think about making money, building lists, producing better content, creating awesome video, have a brand identity I love, emails that look better, partnerships that make sense, experiences that are valuable.
In all of that planning, I have to wake back up to my why. Why am I doing this? For what reasons? What purpose? And I know the answers to all of those things, but sometimes it’s easy to forget. I shouldn’t be forgetting, though, because I believe framing success should first and foremost be benchmarked in the value you get to add to someone’s life outside of your own. And that will actually in turn make you even more successful…because you have a really powerful driving force.
As I’m planning for 2015, do I have goals that reflect income and audience growth? You betcha. But underneath all of that is the single most important goal: the more I can expand my own reach, the more lives I get to inspire. And when your light turns on, you help turn on the light of others. Everything will be measured first and foremost by that goal.
If what we’re doing doesn’t create that value, we’re looking at it wrong. If what we’re measuring is rooted in what we get out of it, fulfillment will always be just out of reach. Our fab outfits, new lipstick, sexy trip and brand spankin’ new camera will never truly mean anything. We’ve got to flip the framework for ourselves.
I encourage you, as you’re thinking about your year ahead, to consider your goals. How can they serve you while having a broader sense of giving something, anything back. Whether it’s being healthier so that you can have the energy to add value to your family’s lives, or taking a dream vacation so you can be more present with those around you, or make your first million to be able to give more away.
We all need a gut check. I sure do. Especially when we’re mapping out our wildest dreams. And this is yours: Frame success in terms of value you’re adding, not things you’re getting.